There can have been few periods in our modern political history which have witnessed so concentrated a collection of significant moments as we have seen during the last couple of weeks.

In the midst of these events, anyone could have been forgiven for failing to notice the point of most immediate importance to a large number of people living in West Dorset.

West Dorset has a far higher proportion of frail elderly people than the national average. And very many of these people depend heavily upon the help they receive each day from those involved in providing domicillary social care.

Increasingly, over the last twenty years, the social care system has come under pressure due to the remorseless increase in the number of people reaching great ages and the equally remorseless increase in the cost associated with providing care for them.

For a while, the pressure was contained through reallocating resources from other types of County Council spending (including, in Dorset's case, through welcome reductions in administrative overhead costs). But it simply hasn't been possible to find enough money from these other sources - even when efficiency savings and reallocations have been accompanied by a rise in local council taxes devoted exclusively to paying for care for the elderly.

That is why the measure in the Budget which will most affect people in West Dorset is the large additional injection of funds from general, national taxation into the social care system here and elsewhere in the country.

This is very definitely a step in the right direction.